Quebec trade mission to China: the Board of Trade supports the call to Prime Minister Harper
to enter into a more detailed trade agreement with China
Montréal, September 1, 2011 – While in Shanghai taking part in a Government of Quebec trade mission, the President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, Michel Leblanc, supported the request made by Quebec Premier Jean Charest, who took advantage of a platform before the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai to ask the Prime Minister of Canada to enter into a global trade agreement with China.
“The prevailing economic situation in the United States and Europe reminds us of the importance for local businesses to diversify their export markets and fully exploit the business opportunities that abound in emerging countries like China,” Michel Leblanc said. “Quebec exports currently account for only 13% of total Canadian exports to China, but a trade mission like that being led by Premier Charest will help step up the presence of Quebec companies on the Chinese market.”
“The Board of Trade is taking part in this mission by making its team of international trade experts available to 11 businesses and will continue to support the city’s business community in the years to come by organizing training and networking activities on China,” Mr. Leblanc said. “The recent opening of a Chinese consulate in Montréal will also facilitate efforts to form partnerships with Chinese businesses. So there is a complete support mechanism in the metropolitan area to help companies draw greater benefit from the many business opportunities on this growing market.”
“China is already Quebec’s second largest trading partner and the leading destination for Quebec exports to Asia, but China’s enormous demand for goods and services that we have in abundance, including natural resources that are at the core of the Government of Quebec’s Plan Nord, leads us to believe that we can significantly increase our exports to that country,” Mr. Leblanc said. “In this context, the Board of Trade supports the request to Prime Minister Harper to seize the opportunity of his next official visit to China to begin discussions to reach a global agreement that will facilitate trade agreements between businesses in Canada and China.”
As part of this mission, the Board of Trade and its team of international trade experts are supporting a number of Quebec companies in their marketing efforts, companies in the fields of aerospace (Norduyn), information and multimedia technologies (Absolunet, Utopia Image), consumer goods (Birks & Mayors, Immanence IDC, Kaufmann de Suisse, Mega Brands), construction (360 Vox, Entropal, Soprema) and the environment (Mesar/Environair).
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec’s leading private economic development organization.
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4015